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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics: CD
An odd amalgam of tough guy hardcore and intelligent, political punk, Opposition Rising is an up and coming Boston band to watch for. In an era when musicians justifiably complain about music piracy, Opposition Rising takes the opposite approach, giving copies of this CD away for free. The entire album is likewise available online for downloading, with a link to by the LP, for those reeled in by the free version. The tough guy bits are interspersed with odd ska breakdowns that are only odd in that they somehow don’t seem at all out of place. The frontman’s vocals are way above average, too. No opposition here. –Art Ettinger (Opposition, oppositionrising.com)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Get off Your Ass, Get off Your Knees: 10”EP
Hailing from Boston, Opposition Rising is a mash-up of a wide variety of genres of hardcore. Usually an attempt at this is the sonic representation of a train wreck but that’s not the case here. The first side is three songs of fast-paced, anthemic hardcore—anthemic without being too singsong and keeping all of its bite. Music to dog pile for the mic to. The second side takes a turn for a different anthem and throws in a lot of ska punk, but, again, not totally shitting all over it. They execute it flawlessly by throwing in lyrics relating to working class issues. I have listened to this record a lot in the last few weeks and will continue to do so.  –Adam Mullett (Riot Ska,chris@riotskarecords.com/ Pirates Press)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics LP + Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP: CD
A CD reissue of their Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP and Aftermathematics LP, released 2013 and 2011, respectively. Truth be told, “angry political punk” is as dicey these days as most of the other cubbyholes that fall under the “punk” banner, so, naturally, I was a bit skeptical when approaching this. True to form, a lot of the expected subject matter—class war, religion, war, and other examples of how fucked up society is in the twenty-first century and calls to revolt against it all—is in evidence, but instead of ladling out more of the insipid, watered-down U.S. variant of “street punk” that seems all the rage among the perfectly coiffed and Manic Panic-colored parrot punk contingent, they back up specific gripes with some tasty (mostly) mid-tempo punk/hardcore delivered with enough verve that those of us who find ourselves a bit more cynical might be swayed to believe they actually mean what they’re saying. I know that might come off as a backhanded compliment, but believe me it’s not. Too often anymore “fuck the system” is more a punk conceit than conviction, and while I can’t profess to know these cats or where their heads are at, the tunes here are put across in such a way as to come off more the latter, which makes all the difference, even when they divert off in an occasional reggae direction.  –jimmy (Profane Existence / Opposition)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics LP + Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP: CD
You can call this a mini-comp or sorts with this latest release on Profane Existence and Opposition Records. Opposition Rising’sAftermathematics LP and Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP are on this CD. It’s a punishing mix of hardcore, crust punk, street, and even a bit of ska crust. Their message is intelligent, angry-as-fuck, and laser-focused. Those familiar with Boston hardcore bands Mouth Sewn Shut and Toxic Narcotic, which they share members with, will find this crucial. –Camylle Reynolds (Profane Existence / Opposition)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Riot Starter: 7” EP
Pretty standard angry, gruff political hardcore. Lefty ranting and riffs galore, and I say that lovingly. I’m with these guys, to a point. Regarding the tech/internet phobia in “Stop Saying Stupid Shit Online,” I don’t know that “say the wrong thing and they’ll come and arrest you” is entirely accurate. They’d need a lot of jail cells. But that’s just quibbling about specifics. We’re all living in this crappy world. Opposition Rising clearly recognizes that. –Matt Werts (Pine Hill, pinehillrecords.com)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Riot Starter: 7” EP
Boston hardcore band Opposition Rising formed from the remains of Toxic Narcotic and Mouth Sewn Shut, bands who infused their chosen genre with ska and reggae influences. This explains why—despite its cover looking like the most fuck-you-Bahston-hahdcore record imaginable—the five short tracks that make up the Riot Starter EP are… catchy. Beneath the standard-issue black and white photocopy of riot cops, this hardcore has a beat and you can dance to it. The liner notes contain pretty much what you’ve come to expect—cops and social media and hipsters and sheeple and overthrowing stuff—couched in “Everybody’s lying to you… except us! We know the truth!” rhetoric. If you share these opinions, you’ll find a lot to like about Opposition Rising. If you think the lyrics sound more like an old man yelling at a cloud, the vocal effects will insulate you from deciphering them anyway, letting the music speak for itself. Overall, an obvious winner for fans of hardcore, but still offers some worthwhile musical surprises for those who prefer a different flavor of Kool-Aid. –Kelley O’Death (Pine Hill, pinehillrecords.com)


OPPRESSED LOGIC:
Ones That Control: CD
Reminds me of Mystic Records bands like R.K.L., Don’t know, and Scared Straight minus the double bass drums. On first listen, it didn’t really move me. Something in it took me back to the mid-’80s and the local LA scene. Bands like these were a dime a dozen back in the day but they’re probably considered old school today. If this band was local and I had seen them many times live, I would probably have a different perspective. But as a newcomer, I was not blown away. The almost out of tune sound of the guitars mixed with the double bass drumming on this rubbed me wrong. –don (Blazing Guns)


OPPRESSED, THE:
Won’t Say Sorry: 2 x CD
Long-running skinhead band that has been a favorite, compile some covers that run the gamut on this release. They pay homage to Jamaican legends Simaryp, the 4 Skins, the Clash, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Sham 69, Cockney Rejects, Slade, and others who came before them. I can’t believe how may covers this band has recorded. Makes me want to break out the hair clippers and shave the head, followed by cleaning things up with a razor and dusting off the fourteen-hole Doc Martins, grabbing a wife beater out of the dresser, pulling out the suspenders out of the box of clothes I haven’t worn in a couple of decades, and trying to squeeze into a tight pair of pegged jeans. There are so many classics covered with competency. Worthy of the price of purchase are the two versions of the oi classic, “Skinhead Girl. –don (Insurgence)


OPPRESSED, THE:
Oi! Singles & Rarities: CD
"Oi! Singles and Rarities" opens up with the song "White Flag" and finishes up some twenty-eight songs later with "Living with Unemployment." In between is pretty much everything the band ever released on Eps and splits. Though most of my favorite Oppressed stuff came off of "OI! OI! Music," their ten or so EP's are a great way to chart the band's political views as well their growth. From the played-to-death pub cover songs to one of my personal favorites "Do Anything You Wanna Do," this comp has got it all from one of the greatest oi bands around. –keith (Captain Oi)


OPTIMUS PRIME:
Self-titled: CD
Emo/metal stuff from Russia. Yup, you read that correctly. –jimmy (OSK)


OPTIONAL BODY:
Surviving Avalanches: 7” single
Ex-members of bands like Dead And Gone, the VSS, Year Future, and others that escape my foggy memory make up Optional Body. The style is on the post-punk side, a bit like where Cat Party is at these days. What really hooks me with the group is Rocky Crane’s guitar playing. I was always a fan of the stuff he was doing in Dead And Gone, and wanted to hear more, especially when he would add a little extra between songs in a live setting. The sound is simultaneously sprawling, cold, and dark. The A side is the best of the two. The tempo is moderately quick and has a bit of urgency without going the too easy spastic route. Percussion keeps time, and sometimes bashes around, but is still in control. The guitar brings the darkness. “Inelastic,” which is on the flip, is good, but it contrasts too much with the mood set from “Surviving Avalanches.” It’s a bit more ratcheted up. The vocal delivery is more forceful and the bass and drums are snaking in and out of one another. It’s like if Scratch Acid went more goth and less punk. Still, a good song, but I’d like maybe one more in between for a smoother transition. –Matt Average (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)


OPTIONALS, THE:
Dead to Realise: CD
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Dave Grohl teamed up with Leatherface to provide interpretations of Bill Stevenson compositions that were weeded out from the Descendents/All’s set list for being way too goddamned dense and busy even for them—but are so catchy that someone oughta be taking a stab at playing them—here you go. Though the pop hooks are a plenty, you’ll be hard pressed to find extended pieces here to whistle while you work. Some mighty fine work on all fronts—from writing to proficiency to performance—has been put in here and, though the tunes may feel a bit cerebral at times, these Aussie kids pack one mean wallop. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/theoptionals)


ORANGE:
Welcome to the World of...: CD
It just feels wrong. Icky, really. Sure, the songs are as catchy as SARS and the production is top notch but none of that can hide the feeling of trying too hard. Sure, it has all the “plaid and zips” you could ever want on a record but it really lacks any kind of heart. You’d be much better off listening to the Briefs again. In fact, I’ll go do that. –ty (Hellcat)


ORANGE:
Welcome to the World of...: CD
This CD is for those of you who are in love with Rancid and the American Idiot Green Day of today, but are now looking for something new to blast in your car. The CD showcases what you’ve come to expect from Hellcat: amazing production and catchy songs from beginning to end. From the looks of the pictures on the layout, these kids are still in high school. Yeah, still pink in the cheeks and all… oh wait, that’s blush and lipstick. Whose mane did they have to stroke in order to ride the Hellcat? That’s what I wanna know! Either way, I hope these kids have not become egomaniacs since signing to an Epitaph imprint. And I hope they understand what sort of privilege it is to have music they created at such a young age propelled to ninety percent of the music stores all over the world and that—despite what talent they might or might not have—someone has given them a huge fucking chance that not many people get. Orange, I expect to see more politics and more “doin’ it for the kids” on the next album, or it’ll be (in the unforgettable words of UHF’s Stanley Spadowski) tossed like a bag of moldy tangerines! –mrz (Hellcat)


ORANGE:
Escape from L.A.: CD
I hate press releases! This one uses the phrase “brash swagger,” which made me think of a drunk pirate, but I doubt that was the intention of the mighty machines that are Epitaph Records! This is, to my ears, a poor man’s Rancid with an even worse fake British accent! Having said that, maybe I should disclose that I like the first Rancid LP, and kind of like the next two. But this, well... I know Rancid, and this sir, is no Rancid! If this were a cereal, it’d be generic Cheerios. It’s hard to hate ‘em, but I wouldn’t put this in my CD player if I had a Honey Nut Cheerios band’s CD available! –Maddy (Hellcat/Epitaph)


ORANGE COAX:
Self-titled: 10”
I thought I had heard the punk spectrum, but, I’ll admit, band geek rejects playing jazz/trash/punk is a new one. It could be best described as psycho clown music or angry seal music; take your pick. It’s hard to escape from the sax as a honking horn metaphor. There’s no guitar, no piano, no rhythm section to speak of, just the haunting barks of a lone sax played over a manic drummer and a screeching vocalist. Honestly, one of the worst records I’ve ever heard. Whatever the fuck this record is trying to be is completely lost on me. All I can see is a horrible mess of noise and frustration with hints of true intent. If you want music that grabs your attention, you could maybe find some solace in this, but for my taste the gold isn’t worth the treasure hunt. –Bryan Static (Self-released, no address)


ORANGES BAND, THE:
Two Thousands: CD
Art rock. No, really—there’s a guy named Art in the band. –jimmy (Morphius)


ORATIONS:
Demo: Cassette
There has been an explosion in recent years of new dark wave, or dark wave-influenced bands, typified by reverb-y guitar, chunky bass lines, ethereal-sounding vocals, and in some cases, synthesizers. Lyrical themes can vary widely, but trend towards the dark, depressing, or introspective. I’m not always crazy about the genre, but when it’s done well, it is certainly worth listening to. Orations are one of the better sounding bands of the genre. While they stick rather close to the formula of this style of music, there are enough quality riffs and songwriting chops to maintain my interest. Where Orations particularly shines is lyrically. Each song on this cassette acts as a sort of word painting which the music brings to life. I almost wish the vocals were a little more prominent in the mix and less layered behind the rest of the band, to give some extra power to this effect. Small gripes aside, this is a release worth checking out, particularly for existing fans of the genre.  –Paul J. Comeau (Sheets Of Tens, sheetsoftens.com, failuresunion@gmail.com)


ORCA TEAM:
Take My Hand: 7”
Seattle’s Orca Team offer up three tunes that recall a time where guys would wear suits and ladies would wear dresses to go dance to rock bands, after flipping a nickel to a soda jerk for a glass of pop. This is some classy stuff that has hints of proto psychedelia (that would later be fully realized in the hits of Nuggets). Neat stuff! Get on it. –Vincent Battilana (HHBTM)


ORCHARD OF THE LIVING:
Self-titled: CD
Sour hardcore dirges with lyrics showing some good election-year anxiety. The drummer is the singer, which is always a hoot live. These guys’ hearts are obviously in the right place; they’re just lacking that bit of oomph needed to make them really stand out –CT Terry (Sickle Moon, myspace.com/sicklemoonrecordings)


ORCHESTRA OF MUNITIONS:
Self-titled: CD-EP
If you and your friends were sitting around air-guitarring made-up awesome metal riffs and then BOOM it turned into a hardcore band, it would sound like this. Play it while gathering the courage to kick a cop in the dick. –CT Terry –Guest Contributor (www.sointenserecords.com)


ORCHID:
Totality: LP
Always considered these guys part of the Holy Trinity of Screamo, alongside Reversal Of Man and Combat Wounded Veteran, or at least the grandpappies of said genre. Orchid, however, always seemed like the most serious of the three and, at times, the most self-conscious. Loved the music—the sheer ferocity and madness of it—but their lyrics, name-dropping Debord and Foucault and stuff, always seemed like they were trying a bit too hard to either impress or obfuscate. Regardless, they lay waste to all in their path on Totality, an LP’s worth of long out of print singles and comp tracks. Nice posthumous release for a band that split well over a decade ago. –keith (Clean Plate)


ORDEN MUNDIAL:
Obediencia Debida: LP
The opening chords on Orden Mundial’s second album are enough to make the dead sit up and wonder “What the fuck?” The tone of the guitar is instantly invasive and at times the six strings feature a similar quality, both in sound and in some of the solos, as was heard on GBH’s first two albums—a sound that I love. Those chords herald the beginning of a seventeen minute onslaught from this Mallorcan band, an attack that is akin to standing in front of a light heavyweight boxer, with each of the ten tracks representing the rounds of a championship bout. The mid-paced tracks are when the pugilist tries to weaken the opponent using stiff body shots that cause the guard to be dropped. The more blitzkrieg style songs are the knock out punches, directed straight for the head with an intensity that seems never-ending—allowing for no effective defense to be deployed in response—thus resulting in either submission or a bloodied ending. Lyrics are in Castilian but I’m betting they’re full of anti-authority/anti-establishment sentiment given the hardcore maelstrom bursting out of my speakers. There’s some great live footage of this band on the internet, too, if you’re interested in seeing Orden Mundial in action.  –Rich Cocksedge (La Vida Es Un Mus, lavidaesunmus.com)


ORDER:
Kickball: 5-song 7” EP
Oh man, this is all over the place. Here’s a partial list of the bases they touch: electro-folk, drum machine hymnal, rap, art, and indie rock. It’s not without its brief charms, but the splattering of the influences just choggles me. In their approach, they remind me of the Mean Reds—mostly interested in the blender, or “making something new,” not the ingredients being chucked into the blender. I just don’t hear enough internal digestion (collage isn’t just ripping something out, it’s putting it back in a new context is where the art is) or self-identity (which is ironic, since they’re trying so hard to be different). So, if you want a single band sounding like a regional comp of truly unalike music (including a barely recognizable Who cover), then Order fits that request. –todd (Blood On The Drash)


ORDER OF THE VULTURE:
Self-titled: CD-R
And the award for “Best Kreator/ Sodom Impersonation by a So-Called ‘Hardcore Punk’ Band” goes to…. –jimmy (Aborted Society)


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